After a well deserved rest day at La Paz, the 2018 Dakar Rally kicked off again for its second leg with Stage 7 on Saturday. Hero MotoSports soldiered with two riders while Sherco TVS continued with lone rider in the first marathon stage of the rally. Indian rider CS Santosh made a remarkable recovery at the end of Stage 7 and finished the day in 39th position, and 40th overall. Stage 7 saw riders complete the 727 km marathon stage between La Paz and Uyuni with a timed stretch of 425 km.
CS Santosh's recovery comes after he dropped down the order in Stage 3 after running out of fuel. Nevertheless, the Hero rider has been consistently rising in the rider standings, despite an injured ankle from an earlier crash. Meanwhile, Oriol Mena on the second Hero bike has been consistently doing well and finished 17th at the end of Stage 7, breaking into top-20.
At Sherco TVS, Joan Pedrero is one of the strongest riders out there and leads the Indian contingent. Pedrero finished in the 16th place overall, after finishing the stage in 21st place. Hero had another good news to share with Joaquim Rodrigues recuperating well in Portugal. Meanwhile, both Sherco TVS riders Adrien Metge and India's Aravind KP are also on the road to recovery.
Stage 8 was the longest special stage of the rally with nearly 500 km to cover including a high altitude dune crossing. Tupiza was the last halt for the rally in Bolivia before changing the borders again and crossing over to Argentina. Having spent a night at Uyuni without assistance, the competitors started the leg 2 of the Marathon stage from Uyuni to Tupiza for the longest stage of the Dakar Rally. The riders had to make a total run of 498 km in the special stage followed by an 87 km liaison section. The stage offered the challenge of tough high altitude riding in the mountain sand dunes at 3500 m above sea level. Both the riders delivered solid performances to close the Marathon stage in a strong position for the team. Oriol Mena finished the special at 12th position, defending his top 20 ranking and grabbing up the 18th spot overall. CS Santosh too has been gaining good ground lately, finishing the tough marathon stage at 38th position.
With Dakar cancelling Stage 9 due to poor weather conditions, the competition will resume on Tuesday.
Article Source : NDTVAuto